Vikings Seven-Round Mock Draft 5.0: One Last Attempt
At long last, draft day is finally here, and a country starved for sports is about to get three days of the next best thing. It's going to be a lot of fun. It also means that pre-draft season – over three months of mock drafts, scouting reports, and rumors – is coming to an end.
InsideTheVikings has two big pieces of content for you today to help pass the time until 7 p.m. central. One is our Mock Draft Roundup 8.0, which compiles and assesses the Vikings picks in over a dozen final mock drafts posted by major national analysts over the past couple days.
The other is our fifth and final seven-round Vikings mock. This is my last attempt to predict what Rick Spielman might do over the next three days, with trades and semi-educated selections based on past tendencies and player buzz. For comparison, here are my past two seven-rounders:
- Mock 3.0 (no trades, first two picks are Kristian Fulton and Josh Jones)
- Mock 4.0 (lots of trades, first two picks are Jedrick Wills and Jalen Reagor)
One last time before the real thing. Let's go.
Trade: Vikings send picks 22 and 89 to the Colts for picks 34 and 44
This deal benefits both sides. The Colts need a quarterback of the future, as neither Philip Rivers nor Jacoby Brissett are under contract after this season. With Utah State's Jordan Love still on the board, Indianapolis jumps ahead of the similarly QB-needy Patriots and Saints to get their guy. The Vikings have two corners they like at 25 and are able to stock up on second-round picks with this move.
Round 1, Pick 25: Jeff Gladney, CB, TCU
I'd be surprised if the Vikings don't take a corner on Thursday night. The three most likely candidates appear to be Gladney, Jaylon Johnson, and A.J. Terrell, although Kristian Fulton, Noah Igbinoghene, and Damon Arnette are also in play. Terrell went to the Raiders at 19 in this mock, so the Vikings have a choice between Johnson and Gladney. There's been a ton of buzz that they like Johnson, but that could be a smokescreen. Gladney comes without Johnson's injury concerns and is a perfect Mike Zimmer corner with his physicality and ball skills.
Round 2, Pick 34 (via IND): Austin Jackson, OT, USC
The Vikings were hoping to see an athletic left tackle fall to them at this spot in Jackson or Ezra Cleveland. Cleveland went one pick earlier to the Bengals, so the Vikings pounce on Jackson. The 20 year-old has the elite athletic traits to be a perfect fit in Gary Kubiak's zone-blocking scheme, but needs plenty of work with offensive line coach Rick Dennison on his technique.
Trade: Vikings send picks 44 and 205 to the Jets for picks 48 and 120
Spielman loves to trade back and add draft capital if he feels like he'll still be able to get a guy he covets. "A lot of that manipulation on the draft board depends on what's up there, how you have the draft board stacked and how far are you willing to go back without risk of losing a particular player," he said on Tuesday. Here, the Vikings move back four spots and turn a sixth-rounder into a fourth.
Round 2, Pick 48 (via NYJ): Justin Madubuike, DT, Texas A&M
Madubuike is one of the best three-technique gap penetrators in this draft, and the Vikings are thrilled to put him next to nose tackle Michael Pierce in the middle of their defensive line. The 293-pound Madubuike (who has met virtually with the Vikings) ran a 4.83 40 and put up 31 bench press reps at the combine. His explosive first step and powerful upper body helped him record 11.5 sacks, 13.5 tackles for loss, and four forced fumbles over the past two seasons.
Round 2, Pick 58: Tee Higgins, WR, Clemson
This is a big-time slide for Higgins, who was thought of as a consensus first-round pick not long ago. Lackluster testing numbers at Clemson's pro day are the reason he fell this far. But the 6'4" Higgins caught 25 touchdown passes over the last two seasons, never drops anything, and has the length and physicality to make contested catches. He has a great understanding of how to position his body to shield off defenders. Even without top-notch speed, Higgins would be an excellent deep threat for Kirk Cousins.
Trade: Vikings send picks 105 and 132 to the Lions for pick 85
With a run on interior offensive linemen having taken place, Spielman decides to go get a high-ceiling guard.
Round 3, Pick 85 (via DET): Netane Muti, IOL, Fresno State
This is a high-risk, high-reward trade up. Muti could be an absolute steal if stays healthy; he is PFF's top-graded interior OL in this draft and is an outstanding scheme fit. Muti has great movement ability and a very powerful punch, which he showed by becoming the first player to do 44 bench press reps at the combine since 2012. He suffered three injuries in four years so durability is a major concern, but Muti has a ton of upside as both a pass-protector and a run blocker.
Round 4, Pick 120 (via NYJ): Reggie Robinson II, CB, Tulsa
I thought about going with a nickel corner like Michigan State's Josiah Scott here, but the Vikings already have two smallish CBs in Mike Hughes and Gladney on the roster. Robinson has good size (6'1", 205) and plenty of physicality to play press coverage on the outside. He's also a great athlete with 4.44 speed who knows how to play the ball in the air. Robinson needs to improve his footwork and become less grabby in coverage, but the hope is that Zimmer and DBs coach Daronte Jones can unlock his potential.
Trade: Vikings send pick 155 to the Jaguars for picks 165 and 223
It wouldn't be a Spielman draft without a move down on Day 3 to add an extra seventh-round pick.
Round 5, Pick 165 (via JAX): Trevis Gipson, EDGE, Tulsa
Tulsa hasn't had a player drafted since 2011. This year they have two in Robinson and Gipson, and they both happen to end up on the Vikings. Gipson is an exciting developmental prospect at defensive end who has flashed some nice bend on the edge. He's the next project for Andre Patterson.
Round 6, Pick 201: Julian Blackmon, S, Utah
Blackmon is a solid late-round safety prospect with some good versatility, toughness, and acceleration. He recorded nine interceptions over the past three years. Blackmon will need to contribute on special teams to see the field right away.
Round 7, Pick 219: Joe Reed, WR, Virginia
Reed will quickly find a role on special teams and has a chance to eventually compete for snaps at receiver if he continues to improve in that facet of his game. He had just 52 catches in three years coming into last season, and then broke out with 77 catches for nearly 700 yards. Reed is a dynamic playmaker in the open field who returned five kickoffs for touchdowns in college and should take that job from Ameer Abdullah as soon as this season.
Round 7, Pick 223 (via JAX): Sewo Olonilua, RB, TCU
With both Dalvin Cook and Mike Boone only under contract for one more year, the Vikings could look to add a late-round running back. They've met virtually with Olonilua, who is a big back with some pass-catching ability.
Round 7, Pick 249: Chris Williamson, CB, Minnesota
The Vikings land an intriguing local prospect in Williamson towards the very end of the draft. He has a ton of experience at the college level and could compete for snaps at either slot corner or safety. Williamson is an aggressive tackler who doesn't offer much in coverage right now.
Round 7, Pick 253: Cohl Cabral, IOL, Arizona State
The 12th and final pick of the Vikings' draft is Cabral, a high IQ center prospect with the theoretical upside to become a depth piece in the NFL.
Full seven-round draft haul
- CB Jeff Gladney, TCU
- OT Austin Jackson, USC
- DT Justin Madubuike, Texas A&M
- WR Tee Higgins, Clemson
- G Netane Muti, Fresno State
- CB Reggie Robinson II, Tulsa
- EDGE Trevis Gipson, Tulsa
- S Julian Blackmon, Utah
- WR Joe Reed, Virginia
- RB Sewo Olonilua, TCU
- CB Chris Williamson, Minnesota
- C Cohl Cabral, Arizona State
Happy draft day! Make sure to stick around for our coverage all weekend.
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